Monday, October 27, 2014

When Writers Pick on Bloggers

What the hell is wrong with writers lately? First, Tina Engler, aka Jaid Black, sues the romance blog Dear Author for libel via Tina's company Ellora's Cave. Then author Kathleen Hale dove into creepy stalker territory because a book blogger gave her a one-star on Goodreads.

For the record, I've gotten a few one-stars. I have commented on a blogger (who I intentionally did not name) here at WWW, but only because she continued to read the Bloodlines series after not liking Blood Magick. My point-of-view was that I wouldn't continue reading someone's work if I didn't particularly like the first book.

But that's me trying to manage my time. I didn't track the blogger down and harass her (and "her" is meant in the generic) for disliking the book. I sure as hell didn't show up on this blogger's doorstep, a la Kathleen Hale. In fact, it's Blogger's opinion, and she has every right to write whatever kind of review she wants about my books or anyone else's.

Just like I have the right to write whatever the hell in my novels and short stories.

But the backlash from the book bloggers has landed.

First is the #notchilled hashtag flying thick and fast on Twitter. Let's face facts. The Ellora's Cave lawsuit is all about getting bloggers to shut up about the company's problems. The harder you try to shut up the public, the more the public talks about you. It's called the Streisand Effect for that very reason. A certain diva with the first name of Barbra tried to squelch coastline photos that included her mansion. No one would have paid any attention to the picture if she hadn't pitched a temper tantrum. So, instead of silencing her critics, Tina's made sure that nearly everyone in the country is talking about her, and not in a positive way.

The latest event starts today--The Blogger Blackout, aka #bloggerblackout on Twitter. Reviewer Tez Miller gives a succinct account of why book bloggers are participating.

You know what? I totally agree with Tez. No blogger should have to worry about lawsuits or their personal safety just for discussing online what they like or don't like about books they read. Or they didn't finish. Or anything else they damn well please.

Here's where advice from the late Jay Lake comes into play. When a writer publishes a book, it's no longer the writer's story. It's the public's. And each member of the public brings her own baggage and peccadillos to the party. It's neither right or wrong. It simply is.

If you're a writer, remember Jay's wise words. Readers have every right to dislike your book and talk about it as they do to like your book and talk about it.


  1. I can't believe we're still fighting this one. :/ How is it that there are any writers at all in the whole freaking world who don't know that readers/reviewers are entitled to their opinion, and that arguing with them or snarking at them or trashing them, much less escalating to realspace actions, will always-always backfire. And even if it didn't, you're still a deranged idiot for doing that crap. [headdesk]

    Every time this happens, I think, "NOW everyone will have heard, and we won't have to deal with this crap again." Maybe this time...? :P


  2. There's a lot of special snowflakes out there, Angie. They make us all look bad.